Bar plan passed

Plans for an upmarket wine bar in a historic Lavenham building remain on track after the business was granted an alcohol licence.

Nearby residents had claimed that At Number 10, a new wine bar and bistro in Lady Street, would effectively be a nightclub after discovering its application for a premises licence included proposals to serve alcohol and play music until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

During a meeting at Babergh District Council, Stuart Davis, speaking on behalf of applicants Rod Benson and Jo Knight, refuted this suggestion.

“They do not intend to open a pub or a tea shop – they see this as something in between, which will fill a gap in the market,” he said.

“There is no intention of upsetting the neighbours.”

Mr Davis said although the bistro in the Grade I listed property could be open from 10am to 11pm through the week, noise would be kept at a minimum and the business was being aimed at those aged over 25.

“There are long opening hours to give the business the best opportunity to succeed,” said Mr Davis. “It will not necessarily be open to 11pm every night.

He added that the wine bar, which will employ four staff, would also hold film nights four times a year.

Nigel Evans, who has lived in Lady Street with his wife Christine for 16 years, said he was worried about the noise generated from the bar – particularly when the court yard area was in use.

“If this is approved, we will lose the enjoyment and our entitlement of peacefulness in our property,” he told the licensing committee.

“This was an exquisite Grade I listed residential property in a quiet street in a medieval village and it appears likely it will be turned into a bar. It is a sad state of affairs.”

Committee chairman John Ward said he could see no reason to refuse the application, and members unanimously agreed to grant the licence.